Petit collin is a toy brand. Today, the company is the last French factory of Swimmers, Poupons and traditional dolls still operating. It still manufactures the plastic version of the Small Swimmer Petit Colin, production of which began around 1924-26.
In the early 80s, the founder of the company (Nicolas Petitcollin) was a manufacturer of horn combs in Etain in the Meuse. Since 1864, the company had an address in Paris. Nicolas Petitcollin started to be interested in celluloid at the end of the 19th century. The company first deposited the brand of the eagle’s head in 1901. This became the symbol of the « Maison Petitcollin », and still is today.
The company is quoted in the Paris Stock Exchange since November 27, 1906. Due to the absence of archives and testimonies, it is thought that the first toys made by Petitcollin might have been balls and rattles. It seems that the manufacturing of dolls started in 1912. During the first world war, the Étain’s factory was completely destroyed.
During the inter-war period, the Petitcollin company spearheaded the French toy industry. Around 1924-1926, the Petitcollin company innovated by launching on the market a baby doll which can be bathed, the swimmer” Petit Colin “.
With the arrival of polyester resines , the Petitcollin company, which had decided to specialize its factory of Étain in the manufacturing of objects in resin, became in 1961 the first French manufacturer of helmets. In 1995, the company was acquired by Vilac. Since then, the company has been called the SARL « toys Petitcollin », and is co-managed by Herve Halgand and Yvan Lacroix.
The Petitcollin factory has been open to the public since 1998. Through guided tours for the public of any age and origin, the company shares its long tradition of know-how and its history. Petitcollin is the last French factory of dolls still in service in France. As such, the company has obtained the label ” company by the Living Heritage ” in 2007.
A museographic space dedicated to the brand, built by the association of local authorities of the country of Etain, opened in September 2009.
On October 19, 2009, the French post office emitted a dolls stamps collection and a swimmer appeared on one of the stamps.
Official website:- www.petitcollin.com
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